dollars in 2 years. There is a woman chemist in Tulsa who says she was able to organize a start-up because her son had already established a dot-com, and he was able to sponsor her start-up.
Another anecdote concerns whether students receiving B.S. degrees are going into medical school at a greater rate. That question is there, and we need to look at it. Data will show the reality, but as you have seen over the last day and a half, the reality isn't so hot either.
We spent most of our time talking about rewards and where they were. One suggestion was to generate a list of how different departments rank with respect to women. If such a list were published, would that really work and would it drive what you were after? I'm not so sure. Sometimes the negative press would dominate, and sometimes the positive press would.
We talked about the structure for research grants. The big driver is the pocketbook, so where is the money coming from? Is it coming from the federal agencies, is it coming from the state organizations? And there is accreditation. We talked about the ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT) and whether or not there should be a question or a focus issue about women in the accreditation process.
It came up continuously that everybody has become so politically correct that you worry about the legal whiplash. If we do some things, we may be opening ourselves up for a counter discrimination suit. So possible legal issues may create a barrier as we talk about things —we need to either stand to the side or take the risk. And if we let the lawyers at it, we all know what the lawyers are going to do.
Awards are another issue. We focused on big awards, because the small awards are merely a bit of recognition that could be funded out of pocket. What are these rewards supposed to drive? Presumably, their goal is to change the infrastructure.
We probably have the equivalent of the old route system. Remember Route 66 and Route 25 and Route 50? Frequently, that wasn't efficient to get where we needed to go. What changed? We developed the interstate highway system, which took a massive change in thinking. Now we are trying to change the infrastructure to help women move forward.
My final point is, “Do something.” I'm going to leave you with a piece of evidence for which we actually have some anecdotal support. It is okay to fail. It is okay to try and fail and say, “This didn't work for this situation, and this is why.” It is not okay to not try. You must go out and try. Just sitting and doing your own thing will not be a catalyst for change—it will not be an agent for change and nothing will happen. We all must do a part. I can tell you from my position as chair of the ACS Women Chemists Committee, that we have been trying to get women recognized with ACS awards. We have been following the numbers, and we have been trying to get women recognized. But I can tell you, it doesn't matter how much preaching gets done, women are not participating in the ACS awards process. The numbers are appalling, when you start looking at how few women submit a nomination document. This is a problem that we all can work to fix without having to get involved in a group, without having to spend a whole lot of time. Sometimes we only talk; we need to be out there making the change ourselves.
Cecily C. Celby, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University: We also focused on organizational change and asked why we were interested in it. We have been talking a lot about symptoms of climates that are unhealthy for women, so why are we moving from symptoms and disease to organizational change? It is because we talk about all the sad tales—but productive talk about sad tales, as the symptoms of an underlying pathology—and to meet our goals, we have to look at institutions as a whole.
As we look at institutions, we notice that one of the symptoms of disease is failure, although as a biologist, I'd rather talk about failure to adapt. We all know that the healthy surviving organism is the